During the last University Court meeting on Friday 13 April, it was announced that contingency plans are currently being considered for Powell and Whitehorn Hall.

This comes after weather issues which caused a delay in the construction processes, including the Beast from the East snowstorm in late February and early March.

The minutes from the meeting read, “In reference to the current weather-related delay with the Powell and Whitehorn gap site residential builds, the Quaestor & Factor noted that progress, though behind, was still within tolerable levels.

“Contingency plans were nevertheless being considered, should the new beds not be available for the start of the 2018-19 academic term.”

On the delays and contingency plans, Ben Stuart, Director of Residential and Business Services, said, “Our contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, is working to deliver the University’s new student residences on time for the new academic year 2018/19.

“However, if the delivery of our new halls (Powell and Whitehorn) are delayed, the University can accommodate students elsewhere within existing University residences.”

On Tuesday 24 April, Finance and Project Manager Sylvie Fergus made residents of Agnes Blackadder Hall and University Hall, neighbours to the new halls, aware of the progress in construction and delays.

According to the email, while physical progress is visible to students, internal progress includes “most partition walls and windows in place, and a lot of shower pods already in place.”

However, on the delays, they said, “The contractors are working hard to catch up with lost time due to the severe winter weather we have all endured and they are under pressure to deliver the residences in good time for next academic season.

“The University has therefore agreed with the contractor that weekend work is the best way to catch up. We have however strongly stressed that only quiet work (e.g. painting) will be tolerated, especially on Sundays, while revisions and exams are underway.”


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